A friend and I took a 40 mile trip down the Sabine a few years ago, and we decided to add 10 miles and another friend to a repeat on the Sabine.
We began our paddle immediately below the dam on Toledo Bend and intended to take out at Bon Weir, about 50 miles down river. On the last trip I was very impressed with the white sand bars and the very clear water. This was not to be the case this trip. Several big floods had apparently moved around, or taken out entirely, most of the bars we camped on. The river was also several feet higher than it had been on the last trip, and this changed the appearance greatly. I'm not saying the view was not good, only that it was totally different.
We began our paddle around 11 in the morning, and found a bar to set up camp around 7 PM. The river authority was supposed to release water around 5 pm, but we saw no evidence of that when we turned in at 10 pm. Much to my surprise, we did see evidence of that when I awoke around 1 AM with an inch of water in my tent, with the river rising rapidly. Luckily, we had set up camp and moved our kayaks high enough on the bar to not have been in real danger.
After re-arranging everything, it was back to sleep, or at least the attempt. The next morning, we had a quick breakfast, broke camp, and decided to take advantage of the tail end of the generation. We began the day 17 air miles from the bridge at Bon Weir, our take out point.
Almost immediately, we came around a bend and encountered a sow and about eight 30 pound pigs, all of whom tried as hard as they could to climb a straight bluff bank, without any success. They would each get right to the top, then slide back down to the river. This went on for several minutes, before they finally gave up, grunted a few times, and walked off up the river. Although the days were fairly hot, that was the only rough part of the trip.
We encountered no mosquitoes and did not see a single snake on the entire trip. There were plenty of birds, especially egrets, herons, and more kingfishers than I have ever seen before. On this 50 mile trip, we saw only two other boats, and they were both within 5 miles of the take out.
We arrived at Bon Weir around 5 pm on the second day. On this trip, we worked pretty hard at paddling, and the trip could easily (and most likely should) be extended to three days.
There are none, anywhere along the 50 miles. If you need it, you had better pack it.
If you want a wilderness paddle, this is the ticket.
One Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro, two Ocean Kayak Drifter's
Toledo Bend Lake, Highway 255, on Texas/Louisiana state line. Take out is at Bon Weir, Texas at Texas/Louisiana line on highway 190
I used Paddling.net
- Trip Duration: 2-3 Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)